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Cool, fruit-filled salsa a delicious option for a hot day

Recipe: White nectarines star in a fresh condiment -- or salad

Bowl of white and red salsa with blue chips on a yellow plate
This salsa features white nectarines but is equally good with yellow ones, or white or yellow peaches.
(Photos: Kathy Morrison)

It's a good thing there's so much fruit in season right now. The options to make something without turning on the oven or even the stovetop are much greater.

This salsa is one of my favorites for the hot summer months. The best stone fruit I've found to use it in is white nectarines, which are sweet but a little bland to me on their own. Put them together with some fresh peppers, herbs and red onion, however, and they brighten up considerably. (They also don't have to be peeled.) But use peaches (any color) or yellow nectarines if those are what look good to you at the market or store.

I like this salsa with blue chips, as shown in the photo, but it's spectacular as a condiment with barbecued chicken. Or pile it on some lettuce instead for a great salad.

Onion, cilantro, herbs, tomatoes and nectarines on a cutting board
Plenty of fresh produce in this salsa.

White Nectarine Salsa

Makes 2 cups


1/2 cup chopped fresh tomato (grape, cherry or regular size)

1/2 cup diced red onion or shallots

1 fresh  jalapeño or serrano pepper, seeded and diced small

1-1/2 tablespoon slivered fresh mint leaves

1-1/2 tablespoon slivered fresh basil leaves

2 tablespoons chopped cilantro

1 tablespoon fresh lime juice

1 tablespoon fresh orange juice (or more lime juice)

2 firm-ripe nectarines, seeded and diced

Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste


In a medium bowl, stir together the diced tomato, onion, pepper, herbs and juices. Gently stir in the diced nectarine. Add some salt and pepper. Chill 1 hour to meld the flavors. Correct the seasonings before serving.

Note: This salsa tastes best the day it's made, but adding some more fresh lime juice can brighten up the leftovers.


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Garden Checklist for week of July 7

Take care of garden chores early in the morning, concentrating on watering. We’re still in survival mode until this heat wave breaks.

* Keep your vegetable garden watered, mulched and weeded. Water before 8 a.m. to conserve moisture.

* Prevent sunburn; provide temporary shade for tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, melons, squash and other crops with “sensitive” skin.

* Hold off on feeding plants until temperatures cool back down to “normal” range. That means daytime highs in the low to mid 90s.

* Don’t let tomatoes wilt or dry out completely. Give tomatoes a deep watering two to three times a week. Harvest vegetables promptly to encourage plants to produce more.

* Squash especially tends to grow rapidly in hot weather. Keep an eye on zucchini.

* Some weeds thrive in hot weather. Whack them before they go to seed.

* Pinch back chrysanthemums for bushy plants and more flowers in September.

* Harvest tomatoes, squash, peppers and eggplant. Prompt picking will help keep plants producing.

* Remove spent flowers from roses, daylilies and other bloomers as they finish flowering.

* Pinch off blooms from basil so the plant will grow more leaves.

* Cut back lavender after flowering to promote a second bloom.

* One good thing about hot days: Most lawns stop growing when temperatures top 95 degrees. Keep mower blades set on high.

* Once the weather cools down a little, it’s not too late to add a splash of color. Plant petunias, snapdragons, zinnias and marigolds.

* After the heat wave, plant corn, pumpkins, radishes, winter squash and sunflowers. Make sure the seeds stay hydrated.

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